Release Date: July 24, 2014
EvCC Contact: EvCC eLearning Director Alyson Indrunas 425-388-9585; firstname.lastname@example.org
State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Contact: Katie Rose, communications and marketing associate, email@example.com, 360-704-4367
EvCC faculty featured on state website that harnesses open resources to save students money
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) today launched OPEN Washington, a website that connects faculty to the nation’s finest open resources to save students money.
With OPEN Washington, SBCTC assembles links to top quality open educational resource collections and adds step-by-step training and other tools to help instructors identify, adopt and modify relevant materials.
The goal is to make the best materials available to all students at a cost much lower than that of published textbooks.
The site features videos of six Everett Community College faculty members who used Open Educational Resources (OER) to save students money. The college’s Textbook Alternative Committee worked to develop open resources for history, environmental science, IT, art appreciation, adult basic education and math classes.
Participating faculty members were able to reduce the cost of textbooks to less than $30. For Andrea Cahan’s math 98/107 class, she made the course completely open resource, saving students $400.
The Open Educational Resources available through OPEN Washington are released under licenses managed by the nonprofit Creative Commons, allowing users to reuse, alter and repurpose the content with attribution.
OPEN Washington extends Washington state’s groundbreaking work in open education in a significant new direction. With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Washington state Legislature, SBCTC and community college faculty built the Open Course Library, a collection of open course materials for 81 of the community and technical college system’s highest-enrolled courses. SBCTC has also implemented an ‘open’ policy that ensures products of public and grant-funded educational projects at community and technical colleges are openly licensed and freely available.
In addition to assembling a high-quality collection of resources, OPEN Washington provides training materials and resources, stories of the impact of successful OER use in the Washington community and technical college system, and a community-driven Q&A forum to help instructors learn open licensing and how to use, license and modify OER in their own teaching. SBCTC’s “How to Use OER” training course is nationally recognized for its success in teaching instructors and librarians how to use OER the right way. A self-paced version of that course is available on OPEN Washington.
“The value of the new site is that it provides a one-stop center for instructors and anyone else to find open resources and use them effectively,” said Mark Jenkins, SBCTC director for eLearning and open education. “OPEN Washington gives us the means to represent the best of what’s out there in OER and to provide help and resources for both new and experienced instructors committed to teaching with it.”
SBCTC is one of five organizations nationwide to provide training and support to all U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT grantees (Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training) through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Products resulting from the DOL grants must be openly licensed.
The other partners in this grant are Creative Commons, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST).